Displaying fragments of a creative soul wannabe …

Remember the vintage letterpress trays I picked up at the Allegan Antique Market a while back? Yep, those trays. I think it was nearly two years ago that I came upon them thinking I’d create a shabby-chic style wall decor class.

I started collecting bits and pieces of sewing items – old patterns, threads, buttons, thimbles, intending to work into a sewing theme, but I struggled with where and how to begin. So the trays continued to take up space in the garage.

I turned many a magazine pages searching for inspiration; something to get me going. I shopped antique malls, searching for more little trinkets, treasures and ideas. I searched the Internet. Nothing. Nothing really inspired me enough to get started. Finally the time had come to do SOMETHING with those trays (my husband said so)! I took one out, hosed it down and spray painted it white even though I loved the honey-colored patina of the wood. It was like a whole new object – a big blank canvas to work with and it gave me the kick in the butt I needed!

I packed the tray along with loads of stamps, inks, paints, bits-and-pieces and whatever else would fit in the back of my car and headed to Sunset Shores over Thanksgiving with a couple of friends for an artsy weekend.

Nearly all the background papers are hand-stamped with Wendy Vecchi and Tim Holtz stamps because the papers I packed just weren’t working. The solid colors texturized with embossing folders, and yes, I measured and cut paper for each little cubbie.

I drew inspiration from some of my favorite artists: Rebecca Sower, Nellie Wortman, Michael Jack Putman, Tim Holtz, Wendy Vecchi and Lisa Pace. The piece finally started to come together. It actually took on a life of its own and went in a totally different direction.

Hardly any sewing notions I so painstakingly searched for and collected were used. Instead of a sewing theme it became representative of little fragments of my life. The life of a creative soul wannabe born in 1950. The thimble reminds me how my mother taught me to sew at the age of 7. A game piece from the Sorry! game played so many times with brothers and sisters. My Charlie dog and so many more memories fill those little cubbies along with a few family photos. Some cubbies remain empty to house memories of days and years yet to come. I am so pleased with the results. Don’t you think it will look great next to the vintage shutter?

Putting techniques into play …

Our theme for tonight’s Cracker Jack Stampers meeting was glitter. I never really used glitter much until I took a class from Barbara Trombley of Art Glitter and discovered how I could incorporate glitter into my style of distress and vintage.

So, if you’re like a lot of my artsy friends, we’ve been following Tim’s 12 Tags of Christmas and today’s tag was so over the top with STUFF that I decided to take his lead and really incorporate tons of technique and embellishments. It was a lot of fun to create and I tried techniques I’ve been wanting experiment with for a long time.

I started with a plain manila tag and did a milk resist. It’s a technique by Lisa Bebi that was featured in Somerset Studio Nov/Dec 2006. It always sounded interesting to me so I saved that magazine all these years. After the milk resist the tag was colored with Victorian Velvet and Bundled Sage Distress Ink, spritzed with home made Heirloom Gold Perfect Pearls shimmer mist, then treated with spritz-n-flick several times and set with a heat tool. A background image was stamped with the music stamp from Tim Holtz’ Christmas Minis 2 in Pumice Distress Ink.

I adhered a scallop edge from a paper doily inked with Vintage Photo, Walnut Stain and Black Soot Distress Inks then spritzed with Heirloom Gold Perfect Pearls mist and heat set. The medallion is cut from vintage sheet music held together with Tim Holtz Tissue Tape using the large medallion die from Tim Holtz. The medallion and the ‘wish’ ticket are both inked with Victorian Velvet and Bundled Sage Distress Inks and spritzed with the Heirloom Gold Perfect Pearls mist and heat set.

I painted the tips of the medallion with Art Institute Dries Clear glue and dipped them in a gold glitter. I used the fine tip attachment on the Dries Clear to edge the ‘wish’ ticket and sprinkled on the glitter. The tag edges were distressed with the Tim Holtz Tonic Distresser then inked with the same colors and edged with the Gold Adirondack Paint Dabber (a Wendy Vecchi trick). Rubbed the gold paint into the ‘believe’ metal tag and wiped off, added Stickles Icicle Glitter Glue to the fence pieces that were aged with a rusting technique from Michael Jack Putman.

I loved making this tag – it was a great opportunity to use a variety of techniques I’ve been saving up for when I had time to play.

Note: Sue Kalis – your number was randomly kicked out for the prize! Please send me your mailing information (lneffscraps@gmail.com) so I can send you your stamp set! Congratulations and Merry Christmas!